Heraldry & Miscellany Linkfest

Sacramentaire de DrogonImage via Wikipedia

- Full text of "The grammar of heraldry"

- New Liturgical Movement: Chesterton's "A Defense of Heraldry," and the Knack of Thinking Symbolically

- The Defendant by Gilbert Keith Chesterton: Ch. 9: A Defence of Heraldry

- Charbel Vestments

- Luzar Vestments - New & Antique Vestments

- King Richard's Religious Antiques


- Granda Liturgical Arts ~ Sacred Art, Church Interior Design, Church Restoration, Catholic Church Art, Metalwork, Statuary, Reliefs, Vestments and Altar Linens

- Mazzolini Artcraft Religious Sculpture Studio | Cleveland Ohio

- BH Davis d'Ambly, Liturgical Artist

- Ballads: Introduction and Index at Mostly Medieval - Exploring the Middle Ages

- Blind Harry's Wallace: Book I, Chapter I at Mostly Medieval - Exploring the Middle Ages

- Of the Qualifications of a Poet

- Medieval Sourcebook: The Destruction Of Da Derga's Hostel, c. 1100

- Witches of Cornwall


Don't Circumcise

No-one, male or female, should be circumcised. Not wanting a foreskin 'cause you might need to clean yourself is equally as dumb as not wanting a nose because you can't imagine how to deal with boogers.

Anything with a foreskin works better in several different ways than anything without. Enough said.


Vorona's Gamer DNA Sig



Emerson on War

Corporal Upham: "War educates the senses, calls into action the will, perfects the physical constitution, brings men into such swift and close collision in critical moments that man measures man."

Captain Miller: I guess that's Emerson's way of finding the bright side.

-- Emerson by way of 'Saving Private Ryan'


Written In Sand

Vorona Corax av Coraxal, MMORPG character circa 2003
Due to recently having necrolinked elsewhere to something I wrote while playing Shadowbane six years ago, I think I might as well admit that I'm a serial blogger when it comes to games; here's "Written In Sand":
I do not live in a City. I live in a Vir'akt. Our Vir'akt'al may have many cities, or one, or none.

My life is bound to a Tree, but it dwells & burns in my Body and in those of my Children.

I do not live in a House. I live in a Tent.

Had I a House, it might be destroyed. What I have is a Home, and it is wherever I feed my Children and sleep by my Husband's side-- thus, my Home cannot be destroyed.

I do not place my back to a Wall and fight. I place my back against the backs of those in my Family, my Tribe, and my Kin both far and near. Thus, wherever I am, a Fortress is around me.

As long as I have the Vir beneath my feet, I am where I Belong.

As long as the Krykhalin is in the sky, it is a Good Day.

The above is the one thing from that time I hope I never forget. In fact, as of yet I haven't; seeing Lawrence of Arabia the other night reminded me of it, as did the destruction of the Kingdom of Hyperion in Darkfall.

Pictured above: Vorona 1.0
Pictured below: Vorona 2.0
Vorona, the Sequel-- coming soon to a North American Darkfall Server

When Sundown Pales The Sky

A #Poem

Sitting in a quiet spot in the Keep of Long March, listening with half an ear to the others practicing outside-- waiting for the moment when the clashing of swords turns into real battle, as it very often does-- Laylah looks out the window to the west, where over the wall she can see a patch of sky. She sighs and pulls a parchment closer on the table in front of her; it is stubbornly blank though she holds a pen and tries to think of what to write to Spaw Kindred, so far, far away. "Dearest Spaw", she begins, but the news to send eludes her.

Then, her thoughts collect themselves into a poem of sorts, the kind that doesn't rhyme, and she writes them down as they come, not letting herself wonder if he will smirk at them or if he'll ever even see them.
When the winds rise and sweep the heavens
and the clouds cannot scatter the light of Auros
And His radiant splendour departs to enlighten the realms of Night
and sundown pales the sky to the color of your eyes­
I hear a whisper like a knife drawn across the flesh
Of a girl's palm, if she were to be a woman soon,
and belong to no-one else, ever, only you;
and I feel a sting that cuts across my Heart,
My Fortune, My Life and then the press of your hand;
Our blood mingling, like ink and flesh, like flesh and bone,
like two alone who find each other in the dark
Each a spark of flame fated to burn together
until the last drop is spilled and dried. I feel you
in the sun on my face, the rain on my cheeks,
the ache of the mark of your kindred upon me.
Among the glad company of my beloved brothers
it is you I miss and yearn for, you for whom
I am the best that I can be. You are the destiny
my mother saw for me among my father's people,
the man for me, the one I love; I would not move
to the highest and best place without you by my side,
nor would I face one moment longer in any world
that you departed.
Laylah looks at it only long enough to sand the ink so that it will not run, then folds and seals it using the single candle, pressing her thumb into the wax. She addresses it and adds it to the other papers that will be handed off to someone else to deliver, and then rests her head on her folded arms. "I miss you", she whispers to no-one who can hear her. Her right hand is throbbing in a line that crosses her palm; she presses it to her left forearm and thus staunches the blood that oozes from it, unseen.

Here's an bit of roleplay writing from near the end of my time in the Duchy of Wessex in Darkfall, containing a nugget of a poem I am not sorry I posted. I wrote it in-character but was inspired by how much I really miss "Spaw's player" in-game (he and his clan left the city of Long March some time before this, and then he lost the account he was playing on three days after this, and won't be back for the rest of Darkfall) and by the remarkable colour of his very own real-life eyes: a hazel consisting of very pale blue with a tinge of gold around the iris. It is truly the colour of some sunsets where there are no clouds to turn the sky bloody. Depending upon the lighting and the background, they can seem to be almost any colour at all. Come to think of it, they really quite suit his personality.


A Clockwork Orange Guildleader

Don't worry if you don't understand a word they're saying. They're British, and speaking what Anthony Burgess (who wrote the novel, A Clockwork Orange) imagined would be the language of that country's youth-of-the-dystopian-future. The book is even harder to get (and yes, I did read it).

The movie is old (almost as old as Malcolm MacDowell, who was 24 or so playing 17-- in the best movie tradition-- when this was made) but scenes like this still get it recommended. It really should be part of everyone's pop culture education, along with the books Animal Farm and 1984 (for reasons which will become apparent once you've seen the one and read the other two). But let me digress from the original film's merits (and ultimately from its plot) to apply this scene as a metaphor for a certain specialised category of human relations.

This scene reminds me of how some internal Clan discussions go in Darkfall, and the remedy applied by the clan leader for his dissatisfied comrades is what I was trying to get at in the post linked to the title, above. Violence [is] inherent in the system


Alex wants to continue the group's successful formula of random PKing and opportunism, and his droogs want to do big raids and grind for cash. He thinks about it for a minute or two, then kicks their asses (to the tune of Rossini's 'Thieving Magpie', a fun classical piece that you can whistle around the house). It could have gone either way; they could have kicked his, if they'd been more organised and taken some initiative.

I believe organisation to be a good thing, but not when it is imposed from without and replaces initiative.

I also want to note that Malcolm MacDowell had world-class blue eyes, and still does.


Darkfall:Star Wars Galaxies

OMG, Star Wars Galaxies Killed Kenny
Image by modowd via Flickr

When I think back to SWG, I recall that even with a lot of information about wonderful changes to make a game even more wicked awesome very soon, it's well to not hold your breath until they happen and aren't undone shortly thereafter.

And somehow, Darkfall always makes me think back to Star Wars Galaxies.
Ceterum autem censeo, Goons esse delendam.

Sun Tzu re Darkfall

III. 3.
  • Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plans;
  • the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces;
  • the next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field;
  • and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.
For the purposes of pursuing conquest in Darkfall, this translates well to
  1. Attack their people, their reputation, their forums, their bank;
  2. Accuse them of zerging to anyone who will effectively care¹;
  3. 'World' PvP, raids, harvesting the harvesters, or any other PK'ing activity;
  4. Sieges. Nasty expensive things that make you late for dinner or bed.

A screenshot of a city siege

In fact, it's really not hard to tell, by how closely some have stuck to this formula for success, which folks have been reading their Sun Tzu and which have not.

¹ Although there is no force superiour in numbers that an enemy will not characterise as a 'zerg'.
² Also, where any single player has a better prospective kill ratio than the group he is facing, there exists a Zerg of One.

Ceterum autem censeo, Goons esse delendam.


Cicatrices Bellorum, a Darkfall PvP Clan

Greetings, most esteemed colleagues of Forumfall Online. I'm writing this to share more about my clan,

Cicatrices Bellorum

Our Symbol

The Cicatrices
were founded in their first incarnation during the advent of Ultima Online, on the Lake Superior server. I was the first; then known as Bart rather than Nihilum, and indeed I had no idea what I was at the time. I was a young pvper; surely no one can blame me for lacking direction. But I knew that pvp would make me a better person; that fighting constantly, challenging people that I knew were better, older and more experienced than me, would teach me how to become better myself. This is the core of Cicatrices Bellorum, the birthplace and the essence, and while we were nameless and lost we held true to a belief that we didn't know we had. We remained drifters, my brothers and I, attaching ourselves to whichever clans were in the thick of pvp conflict. Nothing satisfied us more than to join a losing side, being faced with innumerable opponents and fighting tooth and nail just to come out alive. It didn't take us long to learn that we could be making money doing what we were already doing - thus, near the end of our career in Ultima Online, the 'alias' system was born and we became mercenaries.

Each leader of Cicatrices is given a Latin alias that reflects his personality, strengths, talents and sometimes even his weaknesses. We styled ourselves and one another, though in practice and tradition I'm often the one who assigns a Latin alias - we became Nihilum, we became Eradico, we became Severitas, we became Auctoritas, we became Exuro.... indeed, we became Cicatrices.

From there we drifted on, through careers in Dark Age of Camelot, EVE Online, Anarchy Online, Lineage 2, World of Warcraft (a terrible perversion of pvp though it may be), Planetside, Silkroad, Everquest, Shadowbane; in truth, we've set foot and spilt blood in almost every MMO that would allow it. We never stopped learning from our successes and our mistakes, and every game that we tore our bloody way through made us better, smarter, stronger, more perfect. It was during this time that I gave body to the illusion that was Cicatrices Bellorum - we set in stone our beliefs and traditions, our standard of excellence, our attention to detail and our admiration of pvp worthiness. For the first time ever, we admitted new brothers to our brotherhood. We only accepted the best, the brightest, the ones with the most potential; and
we were ruthless in our recruitment of these people. We would crush entire alliances for a single person, lay cities and dreams to waste to have at our disposal the insight of one talented individual. Nothing was out of reach for us; for we who know what war truly is, there is no other path.

Our exploits are innumerable, but we care nothing for sharing long-forgotten stories of heroic feats. We have the future and more enemies than we could ever hope to dream for; what more could a pvper ask for? And so comes the point of my incessant ramblings; the Cicatrices Bellorum are accepting new members. Our standards for recruitment are no less extreme, so not everyone is ready or qualified to be a member of Cicatrices.

What are we? We're a pvp clan. A brotherhood, no more and no less.

How many members do we have? At the current time, we have about twelve solid members.

How many members do we plan to recruit? During our campaign in Darkfall, our goal is to have approximately fifty well-trained and organized pvpers. We have absolutely no intention of being big, and every intention of being the best.

What are our standards for recruitment? The first and most important thing is an understanding of English, as well as the ability to speak it fluently. Second, one must be interested in pvping constantly; we do not accept non-pvpers. Third, you must be clanless and willing to be a part of a clan; if you're currently a part of a clan you are expected to handle your withdrawal from that clan before applying to join Cicatrices. Finally, you must draft and submit your own application; we will not provide a template for interested individuals to fill out. This final part should be considered the first test of an applicant to Cicatrices Bellorum.

When these conditions are fulfilled, the application can be emailed to cicatricesbellorum@yahoo.com, or PM'd directly to me on these forums.

Where could I find more information about Cicatrices Bellorum? The best place to check is here, our Wiki.

What is our goal in Darkfall Online? We strive always to continue our legacy of excellence. There is no compromise, no faltering; we move always forward and when one obstacle is overcome we must immediately search for our next obstacle. Do we plan to conquer the world? No, of course not. We do plan to develop a city and establish a territory for ourselves, to which end we may require the help of dedicated crafters and resource gatherers.

What are we looking for at the moment? Anyone who is intelligent, fun, interesting, likes to pvp, and fits well into a clan. Specifically we need members that are interested in crafting and gathering resources, but we only need a few of those and it's first come first served. We are also in need of more officers, so highly qualified individuals may be considered for leadership positions (though we make no guarantee, as most of these positions will go to veteran members).

As always, anyone who is interested in simply chatting with members (or leaders) of Cicatrices is more than welcome to join our channel (#cicatrices) on the Stratics network, or to join Darkfall's IRC channel and PM anyone with the [CB] tag. I am genuinely excited to find out what sort of potential the Darkfall community can present, and I eagerly anticipate responses.

--Nihilum, Cicatrix of Cicatrices Bellorum and Thane of Sancta

/ L.K.



EKSA players might be described as living by the slogan "see the world, meet interesting people...and kill them". Immersion within the world is important to these players, because they love finding new things to explore--but they also enjoy the thrill of the hunt and finding other players within the world to fight.
Explorer: 67%, Killer: 67%, Socializer: 53%, Achiever: 13%
Ceterum autem censeo, the Goons esse delendam.

Forum Info
Join Date: 12-23-2008
The People's Republic of Northern California
Learning Photoshop
Would you like to apply for the Duchy of Wessex at this time?:
Have you been referred here to join a specific fiefdom, thanedom, or subclan of Wessex?:
Cicatrices Bellorum
Your Real Name:
Fill out for application.
Your Real-World geographic location:
West Coast NA
What is your playing style?:
Explorer: 67%, Killer: 67%, Socializer: 53%, Achiever: 13%; Roleplayer; Irekei 4 Life.
What attracts you to the Duchy of Wessex?:
1) PvP 2) The Vision 3) I heard there were cookies.
Do you have much experience with MMORPGs?:
Some, but like a male songbird I forget it all every winter and have to learn it again in the spring.
In a competitive world like Darkfall, where would your strengths lie?:
Firm grasp of reality even while roleplaying; friendly, outgoing, ready to ask the next question; resilient; stubborn when need be; curious; wary; from a long line of warrior-poets and other questionable antecedents. I can only hope to boost morale but I'm certain that people laugh when I'm around. I'm also a human compass: my sense of direction is nearly 100% inaccurate, so just ask me where North is and that will be South.
How were you referred to the Duchy of Wessex?:
I came to spy, and stayed for pie! Plus Sir Nihilum talked me into it.
Character Name::
Laylah Kindred
Darkfall Forum ID:
Character Race:
Character Skill Focus:
Should you be accepted, which route are you most likely to follow at first?:
In what Timezone do you play?:
GMT - 8
Oath of Fealty:
Sign Your Name
Select whichever option(s) describe your playtime best.:
Weekends - Morning, Weekends - Afternoon, Weekends - Evening, Weekdays - Evening, Unpredictable - Sporadic, Constantly - I Have A Life!


Scary Booms

Boomn, as pictured by Carne from underneath our raft, the CBS... on Twitpic

TBH, re Goons Esse Delendam

One outstanding way of disinforming an individual or a group is to say the absolute truth in such a way that no-one will believe it.
Ceterum autem censeo, Goons esse delendam.

Ceterum Autem Censeo, Goons Esse Delendam

Originally Posted by GluttonySDS
View Post
You have 2 choices:

1.) You can choose to work with Awful Company accepting myself, Lord Gluttony, as your MMO savior. With this enlightened approach to Darkfall, you will be treated as a true disciple of mine and a member of the Awful Company alliance. Your loyalty and proper tribute to Awful Company will ensure you and your guild members will achieve success and dominance over all of Agon.

2.) You can choose to defy my wishes and those of my disciples. In doing so, you will be damning yourself to an unecessarily unpleasant and frustrating Darkfall experience.
* * *
You're either with us or against -- and let's be honest, wouldn't you rather be the one doing the raping?

I forget, was there Kool-Aid offered to drink with that?
Laylah's Mistress Kindred Stand-in Sig

EKSA: "See the world, meet interesting people & kill them."
Immersion is important to EKSAs, who love finding new things to explore, the thrill of the hunt & finding other players to fight.
Explorer 67%, Killer 67%, Socializer 53%, Achiever 13%

Ceterum autem censeo, Goons esse delendam.